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Product Design faculty inducted into Industrial Design Academy of Fellows

IDSA National Conference attendees honor John Caruso.

IDSA National Conference 2023.

Each year, the Industrial Designers Society of America (IDSA) inducts select members into the Academy of Fellows, one the highest honors that can be bestowed on an industrial designer. John Caruso, professor of product design at the Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design (MIAD), was honored earlier this year for his achievements in industrial design and was inducted into the Academy of Fellows.

According to one of his nominators, Caruso’s “mindset of curiosity, joy, problem solving and rigor is evident in his impressive portfolio which showcases a volume of works ranging from electronics, home goods, appliances and display design to children’s toys and robotics.”

A passionate educator and innovative designer, Caruso credits his grandfather with igniting his interest in both fields. “Teaching lasts through eternity … It’s gratifying to see your students become so successful, I’m so moved by that,” he said in his acceptance speech at the awards ceremony in New York, which took place during the IDSA National Conference. “I don’t think there’s ever been a time that it’s been more important to give students that kind of interaction and validation,” Caruso continues. “It’s so vital to their well rounded education.”

“This is a very humbling award,” Caruso says. “Some of my mentors and heroes are on the stage. This is an incredible achievement and I’m overwhelmed.” With designs ranging from home appliances to children’s toys to delivery vehicles emphasizing sustainability and usability, Caruso’s clients have included Crate & Barrel, Target, Coleman, Design Ideas and many others.

No stranger to recognition, Caruso’s list of other notable achievements includes an IDSA Midwest Outstanding Design Educator of the Year award, several Good Design Awards and Best Educator Paper at the IDSA National Conference. Caruso also received a design arts grant from the National Endowment of the Arts Design to research and develop consumer products made from post-consumer recycled materials. He founded Blu Planet, a design studio that designed, developed and oversaw manufacture of products for The Container Store, Crate & Barrel and Target. Under his direction, Caruso’s students have also won numerous design awards, including Industrial Design Excellence Awards and National Housewares Manufacturers Awards.

Learn more about Caruso and explore MIAD’s Product Design major!


Emerging Technology Center hosts Technique of the Week

During the fall 2023 semester, the Lubar Emerging Technology Center at the Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design (MIAD) hosts “Technique of the Week” demonstrations for students, faculty and staff. MIAD community members are invited to attend presentations on everything from 3D scanning objects to fermentation to Minecraft. Most recently, attendees played pinball on a handmade virtual pinball machine.

Inaugural Latine Student Exhibition announces winners

Four students were honored at the inaugural Latine Student Exhibition, on view at the Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design (MIAD) until October 13, 2023. Coordinated by rhi anderson-martinez, executive director of equity and inclusion at MIAD, the exhibition highlights and celebrates the art and design skills of MIAD’s Latine students during Hispanic Heritage Month.

MIAD Fine Art faculty selected for national Olmsted panel

Brad Anthony Bernard, professor of fine art at the Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design (MIAD), will participate in a panel discussion about Frederick Law Olmsted at the 2023 annual conference of the Olmsted Network in Milwaukee. An accomplished muralist, Bernard designed a mural depicting Olmsted which will be displayed at a public mural and sculpture garden in Milwaukee.

MIAD alum designs Kohl’s collection for Hispanic Heritage Month

For this year’s Hispanic Heritage Month, Whitney Salgado ’15 (Illustration) produced a variety of surface designs for Kohl’s textiles. The Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design (MIAD) alum, who also earned a minor in Communication Design, works as a freelance digital painter and illustrator.


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